HYDRATION – A Revelation

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This is not your normal hydration article. 

It is fair to say, that this article has nothing to do about being hydrated. In reality, it is almost certainly about being in the opposite state of hydration.

Ten years ago, I was a T-Totaling cyclist, Ironman and runner. I didn’t desire alcohol, I had no need to be fair. When I did drink it was for social reasons. I guess you could say, I was ‘fitting in.’

In 2008, all that changed.

To be clear, 2008 was a tough year with divorce, job loss, and my Dad getting cancer. It’s enough to make anyone drink but I was already drinking before… nothing excessive, glass of wine here, glass of wine there. But events in 2008 and then 2009 saw me drink more.

Ten years on I now drink a great deal!

Am I an alcoholic? No.

But if I was, would I know?

Anyway, in the last 5-years my consumption has increased and a bottle of wine every day is normal. But I would say in the last 24-months and in particular, the last 12-months, I have seen that consumption increase. A bottle of wine is normal daily but if I meet friends, eat out, or if working on a race, then I can drink more.

It has become normal.

I have recently asked and questioned myself:

‘Are you are drinking too much!?’

It’s hard to be objective but I think deep down I have known the answer.

Thing is, I can leave drink alone and I don’t crave or need it. I therefore convinced myself I was okay. A good example is working on a multi-day race like Marathon des Sables. I am in the Sahara Desert and there is no alcohol unless I take it with me. I don’t take any and I don’t miss it.

So, all is okay then!?

I guess not and that is the reason for this post.

This last weekend, someone very dear and important to me, looked me in the eye and said:

‘Ease back on the booze!’

This friend was not judging, it was out of love and caring that our eyes met and this advice was relayed to me. 

It’s not always easy to be objective, one can always find an excuse for anything and one can convince oneself that all is okay.

But these words were all I needed.

I decided there and then to stop.

So yesterday, I stopped drinking.

This is not one of those posts that says drinking is bad, no. It’s a post to say that sometimes you need the love of a friend and a personal acceptance that you need to change things.

Today I change and I thank my special friend from the bottom of my heart for the honesty and trust.

Maybe you have been asking a similar question of yourself and this post can help you. I hope so.

18 thoughts on “HYDRATION – A Revelation

  1. This is a very powerful post. Just want to say thank you for sharing this and being open about your choice and why you made it.

  2. Ian – Your honest post is courageous. Having given up the booze last May for many reasons, the main one or which was the emotional damage I was inflicting upon myself, my close family and friends, I can honestly say that – today – my life is better.

    Those people around you want you to be well and, if they truly care for you, will do as your friend did. No malice – just love. I now have a support network made up of family, friends and fellow non-drinkers who support my decision and do not pressure me to ‘fit in’.

    I can honestly say that had I not taken accepted that alcohol and me do not mix, I truly don’t think I would be on my way to towing the start line of MdS.

    Hats off to you Ian. Be gentle with yourself and I’ll see you for a lime and soda hopefully at the end of the race xx

  3. Ian, long time follower of your podcast and webpage. Never commented before. You keep making excellent content each day. That said, this was probably the most emotional and “stinging” post I have ever read from you. Thank you very much

  4. Pingback: Ultramarathon Daily News | Tue, March 27 | Ultrarunnerpodcast.com

  5. I decided to take a week off 12 beers a day 5 years ago. I viewed beer as running food. I did a 7:19 at Catalina 50 miler after 18 beers the night before (2012) . I felt do much better after a week I haven’t touched the shit since. I’m lighter, faster and more peaceful at age 40 then at 34. All boose is is highly processed sugar. Good work!

  6. Ian: I discovered I was an alcoholic and stopped drinking 25 years ago. And the results have been exponentially better than anything I could have ever imagined. If there’s anything I can ever do to help, please reach out anytime.

  7. Thank you for sharing. Someone I care deeply about is in a similar situation as you were, and it is very hard to watch. I am glad someone reached you, and I wish you all the strength with this change.

    • Charle, reach out. My friend (a beautiful friend) told me in the most caring and sensitive way. I saw the love on her face but also the concern, it was all I needed. Do it!

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